Rihanna’s Back and Ready to Make You Cry With ‘Lift Me Up,’ Her Stunning Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Rihanna’s Back and Ready to Make You Cry With ‘Lift Me Up,’ Her Stunning Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

The superstar’s first solo single since 2016 is a peaceful hymn dedicated to Chadwick Boseman that appears on the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack.


Our long international nightmare is over: Rihanna has released new music!

Breaking the internet for the third time this year (following that baby bump reveal and Super Bowl Halftime Show announcement), she dropped “Lift Me Up” late Thursday night, one of at least two Rihanna contributions to the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.

“Lift Me Up” opens with Rihanna’s muted but distinct humming, setting a peaceful tone for the three-minute hymn. Her vocals immediately cut through on the first verse, as she forcefully sings, “Lift me up / Hold me down / Keep me close / Safe and sound.” What begins as a simple lullaby soon builds into a string-laden, choir-backed chant for calmness and comfort, as Rihanna emotionally and repeatedly pleads, “Hold me, hold me, hold me.”

Rihanna co-wrote “Lift Me Up” with Tems, producer Ludwig Göransson, and Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler. According to a press release, the artists wrote the single “as a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman,” the star of the first Black Panther film who died in 2020 from colon cancer.

Fortunately for us, it sounds like we won’t have to wait much longer before yet another new Rihanna joint arrives (and, frankly, we deserve that!). According to multiple journalists who attended the premiere of the Marvel blockbuster on Wednesday, “Lift Me Up” is one of two Rihanna songs that plays during the film’s end credits. The other one, “Born Again,” is another ballad that was produced by The-Dream, per The New York Times’s Kyle Buchanan.

Considering the massive success of executive producer Kendrick Lamar’s 2019 Black Panther soundtrack—which won two Grammys and spawned a hit with the Oscar-nominated Kendrick/SZA collab “All the Stars”—expectations are high for Wakanda Forever’s accompanying album. And judging by what Rihanna’s supplied so far with “Lift Me Up”—not to mention, Tems’ stunning take on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” featured in the sequel’s tear-jerking trailer—we may be in for another hit.

Rihanna’s most recent studio album, of course, was 2016’s Anti, which really wasn’t recent at all (hell, Obama was still president). “Lift Me Up” marks the superstar’s first new solo song since the Sia-written power ballad “Sledgehammer,” which arrived later that year as part of the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Since then, she’s popped up on songs from Lamar, Future, DJ Khaled, N.E.R.D., and PartyNextDoor, but it’s nice to have her back in our headphones on a song that’s all Rih and no dudes.

The full Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack arrives on Nov. 4, with the film hitting theaters a week later, on Nov. 11.

Source: Rihanna’s Back and Ready to Make You Cry With ‘Lift Me Up,’ Her Stunning Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

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